North Battleford returns to top crime severity list

North Battleford topples Thompson with the highest Crime Severity Index score for communities over 10,000.

NORTH BATTLEFORD – North Battleford has reclaimed its title as Canada’s “Crimetown”.

The city recorded dismal numbers in Statistics Canada’s 2021 Crime Severity Index figures for Canada. According to statistics released Tuesday, North Battleford recorded a Crime Severity Index of 480.72, the highest in Canada for communities of 10,000 or more.

This number compares to 429.65 in 2020, an increase of 11.89%. It is also a high for the entire five years dating back to 2017, when the CSI was 369.38.

This means that North Battleford takes over the title of crime capital from Thompson, Manitoba. Thompson had dominated the national CSI for the past few years and in doing so ended a long streak in which North Battleford was atop the CSI.

This time, Thompson finished far behind North Battleford with a score of 438.49, down from a high of 493.08 two years ago.

Another community with well-publicized crime issues — Wetaskiwin, Alta. — finished third at 313.41. Prince Albert was fourth overall and a distant second in Saskatchewan at 263.4.

North Battleford fell short of Thompson in at least one CSI category: violent crime. North Battleford’s violent crime CSI was 518.42, down from 560.20. Thompson clocked a whopping 757.97.

By contrast, the severity of non-violent crime in North Battleford was 466.02, down from 381.68. Thompson was at 322.55.

Statistics Canada also provided counts for incident-based crime statistics for North Battleford. According to these statistics, there were 7,378 actual incidents in the city, for a rate per 100,000 population of 51,943.11.

Statistics Canada figures for North Battleford are those reported for the municipal portion of the RCMP detachment. For the rural part, the numbers for 2021 weren’t much better.

The CSI for North Battleford – Rural was 339.85, down from 318.22 in 2020. The number also marked a high for the five-year period dating back to 2017.

Violent crime severity was recorded at 494.77, while non-violent crime was 283.33.

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